Sarah developed some of her first artistic projects on our Creative Futures programme. She has now exhibited at the arebyte Gallery in her first solo show, is collaborating with academics at UWE, working as a freelance creative for the BBC and helping other young under-represented artists in the tech industry.  

I’m Sarah Cook, and I’m 26. I first engaged with Creative Youth Network on their Creative Futures programme.I applied after graduating the year before and having moved to Bristol from Manchester. I hadn’t worked in the arts before and had just been fired, so was NEET. I wanted to get into a creative career and develop knowledge of platforms. I was struggling having left Uni to find a balance between work and creating and wanted to find that. 

The Creative Futures programme helped my figure out how to work professionally, which wasn’t covered at Uni. I learnt how to make a living out of my art and gave me a focus on my creative process, having deadlines and something to work towards. Having studio space as well as I didn’t have any space beforehand. It also gave me a network in Bristol including professionals. 

Since then, the piece I made with the commission from Creative Futures was shortlisted the Ashurst Emerging Artist Award. This meant that new audiences and professionals got to see my work, I developed networks and met the founder of the immersive times. I was chosen for the Arebyte Gallery Residency, which led to my first solo show in London. I’ve since become a freelancer for the BBC, where I have led workshops in wearable technologies, including workshops as part of the TATE late programme 

Currently, I’m working with Senor Lecture’s at UWE, supporting them with their experiments about quarantine. I’m also working with Immersive kinds and developing residency programmes for other young underrepresented artists in the tech industry, using lessons learnt and inspirated Creative Youth Network. Further to that. I’m working in the Tech club at UWE. 

To date, the highlight of my career is my workRaised by Google, the Arebyte Gallery show, because it was the first time where I had enough funds to create large scale work, learning a massive amount and having my first solo show. A highlight was seeing it all come together and seeing the tech work! 

Creative Youth Network was the catalyst that started everything, giving me a professional career in creative industries. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to exhibit my work without their support and encouragement. It was the right time to do it and led onto everything I’m doing now.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @SarahSelbyArt

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